Transport & Logistics
Bus drivers transport people between various places, including work or school, on regular routes, chartered trips or sightseeing tours.
Junior secondary school certificate or equivalent
What does a Bus Driver do?
Bus drivers transport people between various places, including work or school. Some drive regular routes, and others transport passengers on chartered trips or sightseeing tours. Bus drivers may also be called coach drivers.
As a public transport bus driver, you would travel along established routes, making scheduled stops along the way to pick up and drop off passengers. Your duties may include:
- taking fares and giving tickets
- checking transport passes
- giving timetable or route information
- helping passengers who are having difficulty getting on or off the vehicle.
You could also work in community transport, where you could be driving schoolchildren, hospital patients and the elderly to their destinations.
Your duties as a coach driver would be similar to those on a bus, but the journeys would be longer. You could, for example, drive between cities, or drive people on day trips or holiday tours. Other tasks may include:
- loading and unloading luggage
- making sure that all passengers are back on board for the return journey, and after any scheduled stops.
You would be responsible for keeping the coach clean, doing basic vehicle checks before taking your vehicle out and reporting any incidents to inspectors back at the depot.
Key skills and interests
To become a bus driver, you would need:
- excellent driving skills and knowledge of traffic regulations
- a patient manner and responsible attitude
- an understanding of health and safety issues
- the ability to read traffic signs and follow instructions
- good numeracy skills
- good customer service and clear communication skills.
Working hours and conditions
There are regulations covering weekly maximum driving hours. You may be required to work shift work, or to work at night and on weekends.
Bus drivers are employed in the public sector by government transport authorities and by private bus, charter and coach services.The job can be stressful, and the industry has high turnover.
Coach drivers working in the tourism industry may be away from home for long periods of time.
How to become an Bus Driver?
Entry Level Education
You can work as a bus driver without formal qualifications, but employers usually require a junior secondary school certificate.
To gain employment with State Government bus services, you must pass a selection test. You must also hold a current and unrestricted Australian drivers’ licence. You may be required to undergo a National Police Check and a Working with Children Check. Requirements will vary from State to State. You would receive on-the-job driver training, the duration of which depends on previously held licences and experience.
You can also become a bus driver through an apprenticeship or traineeship in Driving Operations. Entry requirements may vary, but employers generally require junior secondary school certificate or equivalent.
Private bus companies offer on-the-job training, although you may need some prior experience in driving heavy vehicles.
Drivers or public transport buses are employed in the public sector by government transport authorities and by private bus operators. Demand for public transport bus drivers depends upon passenger use of bus services, as well as public transport policy decisions and funding. Because the industry has high turnover, there are always likely to be employment opportunities.
Bus drivers are also employed by charter and tourist coach services. Demand for bus drivers for these services is likely to grow in line with the growth in tourism.